Program Brings New Flowline, Riser Technology to Offshore Brazil

According to the company, this project represents the world’s most advanced program to install new flowline and riser technologies based on thermoplastic composite pipes to actual offshore field conditions. Photo courtesy of Strohm.

Thermoplastic composite pipes (TCP) manufacturer Strohm (IJmuiden, Netherlands) recently introduced a joint industry program (JIP) with Petrobras (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Shell (The Hague, Netherlands) for its TCP flowline and riser technology.

The deal, which Strohm says is worth between €10 million and €50 million ($11.6 million and 58.0 million), aims to change the deepwater flowline and riser market in Brazil and beyond with a corrosion-free solution featuring a 30-year design life. According to the company, it is the world’s most advanced program to bring TCP flowline and risers offshore under actual field conditions.

The four-year award coincides with a large plant expansion, which is well underway at Strohm’s premises in The Netherlands as part of an ongoing growth strategy. The JIP has also extended its footprint in Brazil by triggering a raft of local engineering appointments and a new Rio de Janeiro office, according to the company.

The prolific pre-salt provinces in Brazil have some of the most productive wells in the world, Strohm explains. Typically, deepwater fields like these are produced through dynamic risers connected to floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessels. Recently, conventional flexible flowline and risers have been reported to exhibit premature integrity issues due to corrosion, leading to regular replacement that can be costly and lead to deferred production.

In response, Strohm’s TCP Flowline and Riser is a disruptive new product that is corrosion-resistant with a three-decade design life. It has a superior fatigue performance and is lighter in weight than steel, which results in a cost-effective, free-hanging configuration.

“TCP has the potential to transform the global deepwater flowline and riser market and unlocks a huge potential for us in Brazil,” says Oliver Kassam, CEO of Strohm. “The Brazilian pre-salt cluster currently has 20+ FPSOs in operation and each one is supporting numerous risers, providing a huge opportunity for us in the replacement market. In addition, the country also invests [approximately] $1 billion in risers to support new FPSO operations each year, and this is set to climb in line with its ambition to become the world’s fourth-largest oil producer by 2029.”

Since TCP was introduced to the market in 2010, Strohm says it has built the world’s largest track record for TCP flowlines and jumpers. The new JIP builds on earlier work performed in Brazil and calls for developing, qualifying, and testing composite pipe technology with two operators to make it fully field proven and commercially available.

According to Strohm, the program includes the manufacturing and installation of two TCP systems: one for TCP flowlines and a second for TCP risers. This will result in the industry’s first program enabling a riser to meet the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) recommended practice (RP) 17N standard, making it ready for deployment. The goal is for prototypes to be installed in deepwater environments by 2024.

According to the company, the TCP riser technology has a reduced carbon footprint since it is spool-able and prepared in long lengths. This leads to lower transportation and installation costs. The riser is installed using vessels that are currently available in the market. Since it does not require any buoyancy elements during installation, costs are significantly reduced. As a result, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are greatly reduced. It is also 100% recyclable.

“We’ve worked closely with Petrobras and Shell to understand their requirements for installation and subsea configuration, as well as fluids, pressures, and design life requirements,” says Henk de Boer, chief technology officer for Strohm. “The result is a technology that is insensitive to CO2 and H2S, can be installed with existing vessels with modest modifications, and support the free-hanging catenary configuration, negating the need for buoyancy elements.”

As part of the program, engineering activities and pipe testing will be carried out in The Netherlands and Brazil, and full-scale prototypes will be manufactured and installed in offshore Brazil.

Source: Strohm,